Beltway Beat: Soulful Hatch

John McCaslin
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Posted: Jul 24, 2002 12:00 AM
We've written plenty about Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch's musical talents. Now we see that the Republican senator and ranking member of the Select Intelligence Committee has gone Hollywood. "He does have a song on the 'Stuart Little 2' soundtrack," confirms Peter Carr, spokesman for Hatch. "The song is titled 'Little Angel of Mine,' and Sen. Hatch wrote the lyrics, Madeline Stone wrote the music and the song is performed by a group called 'No Secrets,' an all-girl band that everybody thinks is going to be the next big group." Music and poetry run in the senator's blood. He started taking piano lessons at age 6 and before long added the violin. From the age of 12 until he left for Brigham Young University, Hatch attended every concert of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, walking two miles each way to the music hall and back. Since then, Hatch has penned more than 300 songs, including those for singer-songwriters Janice Kapp Perry and Billy Hinsche of the Beach Boys. He's published numerous ballads for Nashville artists and has with Ms. Stone produced songs for the CD titled "Whispers of My Heart." One song on the CD, titled "Souls Along the Way," is for Sen. Ted Kennedy and his wife, Victoria. Hatch also wrote an inspiring song, "The Different Makes the Difference," for his good friend and boxing legend Muhammad Ali. CANDY FROM BABIES As the American public tries to make sense of corporate fraud and bankruptcy and its devastating impact on personal retirement accounts and pensions, Rep. Scott McInnis (R-Colo.) makes a good point about those who should be held accountable. "You go into a K-Mart and you steal a candy bar," the congressman says. "You will suffer a lot more penalty under the criminal law than the chief executives of K-Mart who loan themselves millions of dollars and then the week before the company was taken into bankruptcy, got the loans forgiven by corporate documents. "In other words, you do not have to pay it back." ENTER AT OWN RISK When you hit a link on the Department of Justice Web site to get more information about a White House program, the site forwards your browser automatically but furnishes this eye-opening warning: "You are now leaving the Department of Justice WWW server. You are about to access www.whitehouse.gov. The Department of Justice takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over, the organizations, views, accuracy, copyright or trademark compliance or legality of the material contained on this server." (Attorney General John Ashcroft has long been in favor of more strict control of the Internet. Perhaps he's worried that Internet surfers will reach the notorious, privately run whitehouse.com, a pornography site, rather than the official government site: whitehouse.gov). DOUBLE-DOUBLE CROSSER Wait a minute. We thought Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont, after he abandoned the Republican Party after all those years, became an independent. If that's the case, then why has Jeffords just written a letter on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), a letter that the Democrats are using to fill their campaign coffers? "Dear Friend" (obviously Jeffords remembers us from the time we interviewed him in a Senate elevator): "Last May, I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. After a lifetime in the Republican Party - an affiliation I maintained for more than a quarter-century in public office - I became an independent." The Republican Party, the senator goes on to write of his past allegiance, is "no longer the party of Lincoln," has "become too extreme," is "too captive to a narrow political orthodoxy," is no longer willing "to listen to the moderate voices" and is "obsessed with tax cuts." (He wrote plenty more, but we don't have the space.) The excuse Jeffords gives for writing the letter is that the DSCC "is responsible for maintaining the Democratic majority that was created by my switch to independent." He goes on to explain that if Republicans capture just one Democratic seat in November, "it would be absolutely devastating." Jeffords is asking for contributions of as much as $500 or more - made payable, of course, to the DSCC. WARE'S SHE GOING? There's dismay in some AIDS corners over the rumored dumping of Patricia Ware as executive director of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. Ware has been one of the Bush administration's "most loyal supporters" and is an "extraordinary" bridge builder who can comfortably discuss touchy subjects such as abstinence education and marriage, insists one colleague. Now it appears Ware has been told she has 30 days remaining on the job, and her allies have been advised, "don't try to save her, she's going." Why would a veteran professional, who as a black woman was especially influential with communities of color, be given the bum's rush? We're told it's linked to the just-announced exit of openly gay AIDS czar Scott H. Evertz from the Office of National AIDS Policy. He's becoming special adviser on AIDS to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. Apparently those who were not pleased with Evertz's transfer to the lower-profile job wanted a payback. The price was Ware, our insider suggests, particularly since she took positions "not shared by other Bush administration AIDS officials." PAYBACK HURTS You'll recall that FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, at the urging of certain Republican lobbyists and strategists - yet despite the protests from conservatives - recently addressed the annual convention of the American Muslim Council. Well, to show its appreciation for that gesture, the council is supporting a lawsuit against President Bush and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. The suit charges the two U.S. leaders with not complying with federal laws requiring the executive branch to certify to Congress if American-made weapons exported abroad are being used to commit human rights abuses. Naturally, the suit also accuses Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the leaders of the Israeli military and security services of "genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, racketeering, acts of murder and torture, bodily harm, arson, kidnapping" and other abuses.